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Sammie The Salamander And Other Tank Updates


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#1 Siobhan

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 09:19 PM

I discovered a crack in Wally's tank last night when I fed the fish their supper and I worried about it getting bigger and giving way, so I dug out Simon the snail's old one-gallon plastic tank and put her back in it, and gave her 2.5 gallon tank to Wally. I went to Petsmart today to get Simon a new tank and they didn't have any 2.5 ones in stock. However, a friend has offered me one she has so I can pick that up tomorrow -- for FREE! -- and put Simon it it tomorrow. I felt guilty about taking her tank, but she just sticks herself to things and doesn't move around that much, and it would have been more mean to put Wally in a one-gallon. (He's a betta, if you've lost your scorecard, LOL).

 

A friend with lots of aquariums suggested I used the cracked tank for Sammie the salamander and give his 10 gallon tank to Wally, and I was tempted, except there isn't room on the counter for a 10 gallon tank and what would the other two fish think if Wally had a mansion and they had cottages? And I didn't have a heater big enough for a 10-gallon. Sammie doesn't need a heater. I did clean Sammie's tank today for the first time -- he mostly hides under his moss and hasn't eaten much and seems to be hibernating, so it didn't really need it but his moss was kind of wilted, so I bought him a new package of moss and fixed him up with a clean home. He wasn't very happy to be disturbed -- he's really not very friendly, LOL -- but his pond and his cave wouldn't fit in the small tank so he kept his big one.

 

So now I have this cracked 2.5 gallon tank that could probably house a reptile -- I think it would hold for a long while without water in it -- and I'm trying to decide what kind of reptile could be happy in a small tank. Most of them grow too big for that. No snakes, they terrify my birds. I was thinking of a lizard of some sort. I really like the chameleon at Petsmart, and it's in a very small enclosure there, but that's supposed to be temporary. I wouldn't want to keep one in a tiny tank for the duration. And they want $100 for the chameleon. Ouch.



#2 cnyguy

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 10:30 PM

I'm not sure what the going rate is for a chameleon around here, but $100 does seem a little steep. I'm sure you'll find someone to move into the cracked tank before too long. Or they'll find you. biggrin.png



#3 Allee

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

That seems really high for a chameleon. What about hermit crabs? I've seen a lot of those little guys that would love living with you.

Sammie may not be the most outgoing fellow but it sounds like he has a very comfortable place to live. :)

#4 Siobhan

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 11:49 AM

I didn't think of a hermit crab. I don't think Petsmart has any of those but we have another pet shop downtown. I could go see what they have. They specialize in aquariums.



#5 msdani1981

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

You could get a land hermit crab, and paint its shell all sorts of pretty colors! :)



#6 Siobhan

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:56 PM

We looked at the other pet shop and they have tree frogs, and they looked pretty cool. They apparently just need a bowl of water and a cave and a stick to climb on. They eat crickets, which is unfortunate -- I don't want to hand out live food, though I have to give Sammie worms (and Ringo turned up her beak when I offered her one of them). Another option was one of the "feeder" mice. They're small and I always feel like I should rescue them from their fate. They're only a couple of bucks, and I still miss Henry (the black and white mouse in my avatar). Maybe I could get one of those and at least he wouldn't be a snake's dinner. I know how to take care of a mouse already.



#7 LindeeV

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 05:41 PM

Check your local Craigslist. They're always giving away all kinds of critters on there, and that's a nice place to find someone who needs a new home.

 

Sometimes they're even offered FREE! wink.png



#8 Siobhan

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:01 PM

I did look, and someone has a creature called an axotlol or something like that, and they're very cute and not very expensive -- $10 for one color and $7 for another -- but they have to have a bigger tank than I have available. I'd have to move Sammie after all to get one of those. Nothing else on the list right now that would be happy in this little tank. I'll just try to be patient and undoubtedly, something will come along. LOL



#9 Allee

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 08:59 AM

There is probably a little creature out there with his bags packed already waiting for a chance to live in that tank. :)

#10 Siobhan

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 11:06 AM

Last night I actually counted noses and came up with 16 critters (I didn't count the wild birds individually). Three dogs. Three fish. A snail. A salamander. Eight birds. Holy plethora, Batman. If I counted the wild birds ... and the two squirrels ... and the occasional bunny or groundhog ... it would really be an appalling total.



#11 Allee

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:45 PM

I feel unworthy! I only have three birds and two dogs! :(

Unless I count the wild birds and the gecko colony, and the crazy squirrels. They love a free meal but they don't depend on me so I can't really count them.

I've been wanting to ask someone this question since November. Since you feed wild birds and squirrels, I'll ask you. I've been watching squirrels and feeding them for about ten years. I've seen two young squirrels fall from great heights, one from a tree, and one from the roof. It surprised me because they are born aerialists.

Back in November a female squirrel took over an owls nest in the very top exposed branches of a very old half dead cedar tree. The owl hasn't used the nest in years. I went out one morning and found a dead baby squirrel on the ground. I guessed about five weeks. I could hear another baby crying in the nest. Bad timing for babies, awful place for a nest. We were having cold wet weather at the time. I put out extra food for the mom in the lower branches of the tree. She showed up that afternoon and she appeared to be hurt, pretty badly. I watched her for days and she kept going to the nest and occasionally I would hear the baby. About three weeks later, I was in the laundry room and saw her chattering like crazy. She didn't see me and I didn't want to scare her so I stayed where I was. The baby was on the ground and she grabbed him by the neck, raced up a pecan tree and slammed the baby against the branch a couple of times. I was horrified, then she dropped the baby to the ground again. I couldn't believe it and didn't know how to help. She went down and grabbed him, hauled him up a different tree and dropped him again, this time he landed on the roof of a storage shed. I wanted to help him so bad, or at least give him a crash helmet. I'd never seen anything like it. She put him in an old nest under the eve of the shed and miraculously he survived. He even grew up, he's still very small compared to the other squirrels but at least he can climb and go to the feeder by himself. He inherited his mom's intelligence, he's way to comfortable on the ground. My retriever grew up watching birds and squirrels, she barks and chases the squirrels away from the feeder but she never gets too close. I can't speak for the dogs next door or the stray cats. In ten years I've never seen a squirrel behave like that. Maybe she was just really young and having babies that late in the season pushed her over the edge.

#12 Siobhan

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:23 PM

I've never seen a squirrel do that but when I was growing up we had a cat who behaved very strangely with babies. All we could figure was that she'd become unhinged somehow -- maybe gotten into some poison in a neighbor's yard (our next door neighbors were mean, nasty people who had threatened to poison our cats in so many words) or, like humans, maybe the occasional animal parent is abusive. Your mama squirrel, if she was hurt, might have just gone a little crazy with pain and didn't know what she was doing, or had gotten into something that poisoned her. All you really could have done, and wildlife rehab experts advise against this but who listens to them? LOL is to go out and chase Mama away and rescue Baby and raise him yourself. My parents had a rescued squirrel before I was born and they're kind of unpredictable. Nutsy (his name) was as cuddly as kitten one minute and the next would freak out for no apparent reason and bounce off the walls. When my mother was getting close to having me, my parents gave Nutsy to my aunt and uncle because they were afraid to have him in the house with a new baby. Mom told me that she wondered if the reason he was kicked out of the nest by his mother (which is how they acquired him) was that something was wrong with him and the mother knew it and rejected him. Wild creatures can't be sentimental about those things and will reject a baby with a deformity or disease in order to try to save their resources for the rest of the babies and get them raised. And the cat I mentioned -- her babies were never quite "right." Sick all the time, acted bizarrely, died too young. We never knew for sure if it was her treatment of them or some congenital defect, and her treatment was the wild instincts trying to reject imperfect babies. 



#13 Jan Cullen

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

Same thing here. If it is on the ground, chances are mom has thrown it out of the nest.  I have raised some very young possums that have been found on the ground and they were fail to thrive animals - although I got them through, they were smaller and you need to question how they will survive once released into the "wild".  I remember a friend of mine raised 2 baby ringtail possums (they usually have twins) - they had been found on the ground.  They survived for about 3 months and then died within days of each other.  Autopsy showed heart defects in both animals.  Which leads me to believe that mothers ALWAYS know best smile.png



#14 Siobhan

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:33 PM

Except in the case of starlings. Starlings build kind of crappy nests in badly chosen locations and starling babies are very active and fall out with some regularity. I watched it myself last summer and the summer before. Starlings like to build their nests in our eaves and we had up close and personal viewing of several families. In fact, we rescued babies and stuck them back in the nests several times. One mama starling had seen us do this and when another one fell out, she hopped around in the front yard chirping frantically at us until we realized what was wrong and rescued him and stuffed him back in, and then she flew up into the nest and handed out supper. 



#15 Allee

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

I know both of you are right. If the momma squirrel had left him I would have had to intervene but she never stopped going to her nest. I saved a baby spanish fainting goat in a snow storm one winter. He was also a twin, his mom took one and left the other right after his birth. I waited for several hours for her to come back for him then I took him inside. We fed him with a bottle and our St. Bernard and German Shepherd treated him like a pack member. He followed them everywhere. Every time he saw my mom he passed out cold. He was never quite normal though, he was weak and got sick a lot. My dog's vet kept telling me I was nuts. His third winter he caught pneumonia and the vet thought the kindest thing we could do was let him go. I'm sure his real mom knew he wasn't healthy enough to survive when he was born.
I know Mother Nature can be cruel but she usually knows what she's doing. I try not to argue any more than I have to.

My husband put a baby ladder back woodpecker back in it's nest. Just like the starling, it's mom was having a fit, otherwise we wouldn't have seen it. We got a ladder and as soon as the baby was back in the nest his mom was fine and started feeding them again.

I had four starlings at the feeder again today. It was ten degrees so my back yard was a popular place. I'm not sure what the starlings were eating but they were very aggressive about it. I'm almost sure it was pellets they were fighting over.

#16 Siobhan

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:15 PM

People don't realize that it's a myth that a mother bird will reject a baby because of the "human smell" if you put it back in the nest. Birds don't have much sense of smell and they don't care as much about you touching the baby as they do about it being back in the nest. Our mother starling watched us put her babies back several times before the day when we hadn't noticed the one had fallen out again and she was yelling at us to pick him up. LOL I found a baby sparrow last summer and couldn't figure out where its nest was -- there was no nest around where I found him -- and he was fully feathered so he wasn't really a baby. I watched him and tried to decide whether I ought to pick him up and bring him in, but decided to let him be for a while and see if he didn't manage on his own, and when I got home from work that night, he was dead in the same spot where I found him. Sometimes that's why they're on the ground and not moving -- something is wrong that you can't see.



#17 msdani1981

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 10:55 AM

I remember when I was about 13 I found a baby barn swallow on the ground in the barn aisle where my pony was boarded.  I picked him up and I didn't notice at the time, but his eyes had been pecked out (or something...anyway, his eyes were missing).  The poor thing clung to my finger, and I remember lining a box and putting him in it.  Then when my mom came to pick me up she let me bring it home.  Well, it died and I got to wash myself in the shower about 20 times....."my" baby bird was crawling with lice. LOL After it died the bird, box and lining all got cremated.



#18 Siobhan

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:50 PM

The lice probably climbed on knowing the baby couldn't defend himself. I've seen that on injured animals before. It's not something you find on birds just because they're wild. I caught a sparrow who had somehow gotten into my neighbor's house last summer -- and of course, she came to me for help, LOL -- and I got a towel and captured him and took him home to turn him loose and took advantage of him being wrapped up in a towel to pet him (he wasn't very happy with me or life in general at that point in his day) and he didn't have any bugs on him. He wasn't hurt, just lost. I set him down on the ground and unwrapped him and stepped back and he took off like a shot. 



#19 Allee

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 04:19 PM

Last spring it had been raining for days. I had been tilled the ground for a new flower bed and she was having a feast of worms and I noticed she was feeding chicks in nest behind a storage building. After a really hard rain I noticed her three chicks were on the ground. She was frantically running from one to the other. I found her nest on the ground. It was a work of art and still in one piece, in fact I couldn't see any damage. The outside was twigs and short small branches. The inside was lined with mud, dog hair, and feathers. It was beautiful. I took a chance and put it back in the tree. They all went back to it. I think the rain knocked down the nest right before the chicks were ready to fledge. They spent about a week and a half more in the nest before they started foraging for their own worms. The mom kept taking food to them for a couple of weeks even after they could fly. She would go from one to the other. The chicks were almost as big as the mom and still begging. I enjoyed watching them.

I have found dead birds on the ground too with no obvious injuries. If I found one alive I would have to try like the rest of you to save it. :) We did save a baby blue jay once, we found him in our yard after a storm too. We returned him to his own kind, finally. He was reluctant to leave.